The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a rights advocacy group, has called on the Nigerian police to release the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, and some other activists in their custody.
The group also threatened to sue the police if the activists are not released within 48 hours.
Mr Sowore was arrested on New Year eve for leading a protest in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja against bad governance in the country.
The protest tagged #CrossoverWithProtest, saw many Nigerians holding candles and a placard showing their grievances against the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Mr Sowore was reportedly arrested in one of the seven vans of the Nigerian police mobilised to the protest ground at Gudu junction in Abuja.
Sahara Reporters said its publisher and others arrested were taken to Abattoir police station in Logokoma, Abuja, where they are currently being detained.
This newspaper could not independently confirm how many protesters were arrested alongside Mr Sowore but unofficial sources claimed four others were arrested.
The police are, however, yet to comment on the arrests.
The police spokesperson, Frank Mba, did not respond to calls and a text message sent to him.
However, SERAP in a post on Twitter demanded the release of the activists.
BREAKING: Nigerian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Omoyele Sowore & other activists reportedly arrested and tortured during a peaceful protest last night in Abuja.
We'll take legal/international action if Sowore & others are not released within 48 hours
— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) January 1, 2021
This is not the first time that Mr Sowore is being arrested by the Buhari administration.
In 2019, he was detained for over 100 days for calling for a protest. He was detained despite a court order granting him bail and was only released after local and international pressure.
The police accused him of planning to overthrow the government of Mr Buhari.
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